This is a list of the top Defense targets for NFL games based on potential production and price. The teams are split into three tiers based on likelihood of success. Remember that these rankings take potential production and price into account, so some teams may be higher up on the list despite having a lower projected score if the price point is favorable. Here are some options to consider.
Looking for a different position? Check out the rest of the positional targets:
CREAM OF THE CROP
Denver Broncos ($3400) – The Broncos are favored by 6.5 at home where they are undefeated so far this year. The game has a total of 42, so they are only expected to give up about 18 points. That makes sense with KC having the ninth fewest yards from scrimmage so far this season. The Broncos D is averaging 15 fantasy points a game and has not had less than 7 in any contest so far. That is a solid floor and some nice potential upside. The Broncos have one of the best defenses in the league. They have 30 sacks and 17 takeaways already through 8 games. This is a soft matchup for them and they should be able to continue their dominance.
St. Louis Rams ($3600) – The Rams are another defense favored, at home, and in a game with a low expected total. They face a bears team that has scored the second fewest points of any team in the league thus far. The likely game flow is St. Louis running the ball, getting a lead, and then being able to pin back their ears and going after the QB. We know Cutler is turnover prone as he was tied for the league lead in picks last year. We also know the Rams have stifled teams and been really good at home over the last year and a half. They are averaging 4.5 sacks, 1.5 takeaways, and only 12 points allowed at home in 2015. Those are elite numbers that any defense would strive to get.
Cincinnati Bengals ($3300) – The Bengals are the second biggest favorite on the board and play at home this week. They face Houston who has racked up a ton of yards, but has the third fewest points scored so far in 2015. The Bengals are only allowing 16 points a game so far this season. They are very good against the pass and Houston has struggled to run without Foster. If Hoyer is forced to throw 40-50 times here, it will likely not be a good day for him. If you give this defense enough chances, they will make some plays and put up a nice number.
MIDDLE OF THE PACK
Carolina Panthers ($3300) – Carolina is on the road, which is not ideal, but they do have a nice matchup against the Titans here as a six point favorite in a low total game. The titans offense has actually allowed the most points to fantasy defenses with an average of over 15 a game, so this is definitely a matchup we should look to exploit. Carolina’s defense has been very good this year and they seem to come up with the big plays down the stretch to close out games every week. They have 25 sacks and 18 takeaways, so that breaks down to three sacks and two turnovers per game. They are tough against both the run and the pass and should have a lead here which is what we like from our fantasy defenses. If they can force the Titans into passing downs, they can go after the rookie QB and hopefully force him into some mistakes.
Green Bay Packers ($3200) – The Packers the biggest favorite on the board at -11. They are also at home this week in Lambeau Field. They face a Detroit offense that has talented players, but has not clicked yet this year. Detroit has the third fewest points scored of any team in the NFL. It’s easy to see why the Packers are favored big in this one. Stafford has already thrown 11 picks and the GB defense is averaging over 3 sacks and 1.5 takeaways per game. If they get the early lead and force Detroit to abandon the run, we could see a huge return here. It is very likely that will be the case and could lead to a big upside game for the Packers.
OTHER OPTIONS TO CONSIDER
New Orleans Saints ($2300) – If you need a cheap flyer this week, I do not think the Saints are the worst team to look at. I realize this defense has been torched recently, but they get a team that does not matchup well enough to take advantage of them. The Saints have been burned by the pass, but Washington does not have an explosive pass offense. Sure D Jax return will help, Reed is a PPR monster, and Garcon is serviceable, but Kirk Cousins is still the trigger man. Cousins has only thrown for more than one TD in one game this year and that was the amazing third quarter comeback two games ago. He is not slinging it for 300+ yards and he is interception prone as many have pointed out before. If Brees stays hot and the Saints get a lead, they will have a chance to pin their ears back and get some pressure. At home they are tough and with the fans going crazy it will be tough for Cousins to get the Redskins in and out of plays. This could turn into a multi-pick game for Cousins and some good upside for the Saints D.
Pittsburgh Steelers ($3000) – Pitts’ D has not been good against the pass, but has been solid against the run. With Manziel likely under center again, the Browns will probably try to run more often. When that does not work, they will leave Manziel in third and longs. Not only is he an inaccurate passer, but he carries the ball around like it’s a loaf of bread and those hungry defensive players are going to look to eat him for lunch. The total here is low and the Steelers are a big favorite. I think we see a slow start for this defense against a run heavy game plan, but if they can get a lead and force the Browns to pass, that is when they can really rack up the stats and pay off the price tag.
Arizona Cardinals ($3900) – Many are shying away from the Cards in this matchup, but I do not understand why. The Seattle offensive line is brutal. Russ Wilson has been running for his life all year. I expect Arizona to score some points and that would force Seattle to take to the air as well. Wilson is elusive, which has saved this O-Line from even more sacks allowed. With that being said, you will see a few and also see Wilson force a few things as the pressure mounts on him. Arizona is expensive, which is why they are down near the bottom, but they have allowed fantasy defenses to score the second most points against them in the entire NFL, so there is merit to using a team many are shying away from here.